Gardening for Life!

Preventing Vandalism by Design

Deliberate damage to garden plants and produce theft can occur  from time to time at a community garden.  A fence around the garden will not prevent wilful damage or garden theft. It will make the garden appear to be exclusive to a small group & unwelcoming.  Public land is for everyone to enjoy.

The good news is that gardeners are consistently surprised how powerful beauty, public information, neighbourhood involvement and garden productivity are as deterrents to destructive vandalism.  Follow Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design choices.

To deter destructive vandalism:

1.   Post signs on what the garden is growing and why, how to join and be part of the garden.

2.  Define the perimeter of the garden site with footpath mulch or City of Calgary's trail mix compressed footpath material

3.  Maintain the garden layout with clear sightlines so passers-by can see the entire garden space at a glance.

4.  Cultivate curb appeal by adding beautiful floral borders, colourful perennial flower beds & climbing beauty plants such as sweet peas & sunflowers in areas where there is low-rise fencing to keep out animals.

5.  Consistently invite and involve neighbourhood youth in the construction project days, planting / weeding / watering /harvesting socials and repair events, composting, and soil renewal days.

6.   Hosting youth art projects such as outdoor murals, stepping stones, garden bed markers.

7.  Following a weekly action plan to keep all aspects of the garden organized and in good repair so that it doesn't look neglected.

8. Report incidents of vandalism to your City of Calgary Parks Community Liaison staff member.